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Biphu Padhi



It is noontime

in the ancient town


and a bird has decided to

fly upward and beyond,


against all our decisions

and assumptions.


It knows where to go to.


Beyond its small nest, all across

the sky until it is night.


Our bodies remain below—

half-delighted, half-shocked.


The long future settles down

over the dumb valley

of death and coronation.




For Milmun


Mind, watch yourself

carefully. Memories


are a crisscross of shame,

guilt, and disappointments,


of all those sins in default.

Mind:  Mind your steps.


Anytime, you might be

tricked by memories.


Mind: Watch yourself

carefully, with the heart’s


nightly, ancient intensities.

Remember?  Memories!



Bibhu Padhi's seventh book of poems, Migratory Days: A Travel Diary in Verse, was published in 2011. His work has appeared in numerous magazines in India, USA, Canada and UK. It has been included in several anthologies, the most recent being The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (2012).